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Battery indicator

5136 Views 13 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  misfit76
On the top of the battery in my 120D which is 18months old, there is a small inspection hole which, according to the label attached to the top of the battery, displays green if the battery is sufficiently charged, black if it is insufficiently charged, and yellow if it requires replacement.
I have always checked this when doing the usual oil, tyres and water checks, and it has always been green.
6 weeks ago I noticed that it was black. I have since rechecked it and it is still black.
There has been no sign of any charging problems, the car has always been a good starter, and I always ensure that nothing is left switched on when leaving the car. My weekly mileage is approx 200 and so this shouldn't be a problem.

Should I be concerned about this and ask for a replacement from BMW or should I ignore this as not being a problem.

Fenders :D
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It would be worth getting the battery checked out. I think most fast fit centre offer a free battery test if you don't have a multimeter to do the checks yourself.

On one of my previous batteries whatever it is that is green had simply been moved out of place and a shake of the battery saw it return to the viewing window. Worth a go.

Thanks for your suggestion.
That is a good thought with regards to "shaking" the battery. I will check that out.

After I had made my posting, I had visions of BabbyBmw readers rushing out to their cars to check their batteries.

Fenders :D
Buy from Halfords and never ever require to buy another battery again.

Here is how it works

For my previous car (a 1994 Mercedes), I only required to buy one battery for the 11 years of ownership (the original Mercedes battery packed up in just over a year)

Halfords batteries are first class in performance.

For some strange reason, They never last 4 years (almost always 3 years and a bit)

However, Halfords Batteries are warrantied for 4 years

When they replace it, they restart the warranty afresh.

Buy from them today and, 3.5 years later, come back to collect a new battery, with a fresh 4 year warranty.

Saves me around £100 every 3 years.....wonderful :D :D :D
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a mate of mine did the same thing for about 8 years, last time he went in though (after 3.5 years) they said they would have to send the battery away for it to be fixed or he could have a new one with 0.5 year warranty.

It probably varies from branch to branch so always worth a go
Errmm not quite true. The battery IS showing it has a problem in one way or another and this could in turn mean the car might not start on the next attempt. The very same thing has just happened on my other car. Green indicator disappeared but car started just fine and a few weeks later - flat battery that will not recharge.
Thanks guys for all your thoughts and suggestions.

I will go and get the battery checked first. If that proves ok, then I will then get the charging system looked at, although I don't think that the alternator is the problem.

Fenders :D
Hi Fenders/all

Today the battery warning light on dash has come on (first yellow, then red) when I checked the battery the indicator was indeed black (must admit never checked before).

More worrying have now just got engine over heating warning as well. Car now parked in work car park.

Could 2 things be linked?

Ive got a 05 118D, any ideas on what could have caused?

Any ideas would be great, I'm not the best person with cars.

With the symptoms you describe my first thought was fan belt. Have you checked that? It may be slipping or it may may snapped. That would affect the charging of the battery from the alternator and also the water pump. I think they are driven by the same belt. I would also check the water level in your header tank, but only when the engine has cooled. If you had the engine over heating warning as you say then you may have lost water from the cooling system.

Hope this helps

Thanks Fenders

Looked as belt had come off! So you were exactly correct, was a bit funny as belt wasn't worn or anything (save for the damage caused when coming off)

So once the plastic engine covers were off I then saw that one of the pullys had come off (below and to right of alternator pully about 3" diameter), explaining why belt had come off. Removed bolt and noted that it had sheared off just at point of bolt meeting nut part (if that makes sense). Very annoyed as the quality of the bolt seems very low in that the bolt seems to be weakly joined to nut.

So now have to get replacment bolt (hopefully not whole pulley as just bolt damage), and now seems that replacing belt on alternator will be more hassle than I thought as need ot get another belt off first!

Good job I have kind friends vastly more capable than me to do this!
Is you car out of warranty misfit76? Presume it is unless you extended it. Even if it is it might be worth having a word with BMW about it as that shouldn't be happening.

Glad to hear that you have found the problem. Is your car high mileage? Bit concerned that the bolt had snapped causing the pulley to come away. As AndyM says, it may still be under warranty. And if its not still try BMW. You may get a some sort of "goodwill" gesture.
Hope you get a good result.

Crikey that sounds bit wrong! Now I'm worrying about mine lol! Got any pics of the bit that broke off? wonder if it's the same on the 120d pre FL as sods law would have it my battery is about pooped luckily my mate works in halfords so getting one trade, and the belt is starting to crack and squeal and the seems the alternator bearing is failing too!! Has done 76k miles but expected a little more out the alternator bearing unless its this pulley thing your talking about instead maybe!
Well all sorted now!!

Sorry Fenders not got any pictures of the broken bolt mate who did the work chucked it away.

Final update is .... spoke to BMW who after admitting that they have had "quite a few" people having the same problem, gave me parts FOC.

New bolt certainly seems a more robust product, dont know when this changed from the piece of [email protected] that I had, but if your driving anything pre 2006 I would think that you may end up with the same problem. Bearing in mind that my car as only done 26k.

All fitted fine, car back on road.
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